Planet Earth provides animals and humans with the vital environmental conditions required for these species to not just live, but thrive. On April 22nd, we celebrate International Earth Day. International Earth Day was established in 2009, by the United Nations General Assembly to recognize and promote the conservation of our beautiful planet.
Planet Earth is in desperate need of care and love from mankind. According to studies, greenhouse gas levels are at an all-time high, causing atmospheric temperatures to rise. The burning of fossil fuels and intensive farming of land have all contributed to higher levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. According to scientists, this is the fastest and largest increase in carbon dioxide the world has ever seen. Due to this drastic climate change, more than a million different species of animals now face the grim reality of possible extinction. Climate change not only is negatively impacting animals, but also humans. The International Organization on Migration estimates that up to 200 million people could be displaced by climate change by 2050.
Now here comes the real question, what can we do as individuals to help reverse this terrifying trend? Here are five simple acts that we can do not only on Earth Day, but regularly to help save our beautiful planet Earth.
Ride a bike for short trips
The simple act of riding your bike for a short trip in lieu of using your car can drastically reduce carbon emissions put out into the atmosphere. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a car driving an average of 12,500 miles per year will expend 11,450 pounds of carbon dioxide. If we can reduce this amount by making small changes in our lives, it will undoubtedly help preserve our planet Earth.
Recycling is one of the easiest and most beneficial acts we can do to save our planet! Recycling saves energy and water, lowers pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, improves air and water quality, preserves landfill space, and conserves natural resources. Recycling sixteen aluminum cans saves the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline! Many cities offer recycling services to make recycling as easy as possible.
Plant a Tree
Planting a tree is one of the most beneficial ways to help save the environment. The average full grown tree will absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon pollution every year! Trees can also significantly reverse the impact of global warming. According to studies, trees are cooling cities by up to 10° F by providing shade and releasing water.
Turn off the Lights
Simply turning off lights when you leave the room is an easy and effective way to help save the planet. The energy wasted from unused lights causes power plants to work harder, thus causing these plants to burn more fossil fuels, emitting them into the atmosphere. Purchasing energy efficient light bulbs will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
Earth Day is a reminder that we need to consider how our actions affect our planet. On April 22nd, take a moment to reflect on our planet and how we can minimize our human impact on amazing planet Earth.
By Nick Reardon